Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wherein we re-re-re-realize our love for what we occasionally get to do

I'm a bit of a slow learner, not someone with a stutter as the title might indicate. I had the opportunity to be on set this weekend, and I came to a re-realization.

The worst days I have on a set, regardless of what I'm doing, are still some of the best days of my life. We were shooting a trailer for a (hopefully) upcoming feature, in an attempt make some rain, and get some money.

I was doing my typical on set role for low budget stuff, which involves me doing pretty much everything that is asked of me, and then some. This time that involved being a pseudo AD, set-dresser, human grip stand, clapper/loader, assistant editor, grip, production assistant, driver, meat flag, and likely a few other things.

We were using one of the new fancy-dancy cameras that records directly to memory cards, meaning that I was reviewing footage ten minutes after it was shot. Quite an interesting feat, though we need to do some work on our work flow.

More importantly, it's inspired me to start writing again, if for no other reason than I really want to direct. My short stalled after the festival, mainly because I didn't know what to do with it, and my level of satisfaction with it has steadily decreased the more I've worked on other projects. I feel like I've forgotten more in the last two years than I ever knew while I was working on it.

I also had the opportunity to work on a short recently that had some fairly serious money behind it. By that I mean, we had 25 plus people on the crew, as compared to most crews I work with where it's less than 10. I realize 25 people is not much in the grand scheme of things, but it was a great experience for me.

I got to 2nd AD under two 1st ADs who do this for a living, and I learned a lot. Not sure if being a 1st AD is something I can do full time, but it does help me fulfill my inner asshole, and my overwhelming urge to yell at people.

But this leads me to another quandry. I love to act. But I also enjoy doing crew work, and I seem to be having a hell of a lot more luck doing that than I do getting acting gigs. Is it a path of least resistance thing? I enjoy doing what I'm good at, but that I also only have to exert the least amount of effort to do?

Yep... I think the lazy gene has kicked in full throttle. But I do love being on set. And I'm the least lazy person in the world when I am.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wherein we relate recent events and ruminate on music

It's been a busy few weeks, filled with 12 hours at work, 8 hours of sleep, 2 hours of travel time, and 2 hours of things I won't talk about, even on the Interweb.

Couple of strange happenings:

I work weird hours, which means I often end up walking home from work between 4 and 6 am. The subway doesn't start until six, and the only other transit option is the aptly named Vomit Comet, something I'm not willing to subject myself to, for hopefully apparent reasons.

The walk is only 15 minutes longer than taking transit in any case, if you don't factor in wait times, which at the odd hours I travel would make the trip take approximately pi hours. In any case, you can easily forget some things when living in a big city, especially how dark it is when the sun is not up. I walked through a roughly ten block area that had been afflicted by a power outage last week, and I'll be damned if it was not darker than the depths of my soul. It made for a slightly less relaxing walk than normal, but I figured that any crazies who were out and about would be given away by their pungent cologne long before I would see them under any condition.

Speaking of those who shouldn't have been released from our fine mental health facilities, in the past three weeks, I've seen the same homeless fellow a) pandering for change, b) urinating on his pants, c) wearing newspaper shoes, d) urinating on said shoes, e) trying to break into a cell phone store by flinging himself at the plate glass storefront, f) trying to urinate on his own face, g) decrying the 'Running Jog of Capitalistics' at 3:35 am in front of a Baskin Robbins, h) getting belligerent with a parking meter, i) failing (fortunately) at e and f and finally, j) making out with a manhole cover in the middle of the street.

He seems to be afraid of people, judging by the few times I've seen others near him, which is likely the only reason he hasn't been locked away. It does make me wonder how he got that way though... there but for the grace of who knows what go I.

Music (speaking of terrible segues), is a big part of my life. I listen to it constantly, and am always trying to find new music to love, and revisiting old favourites. I recently heard the Buggles 'Video Killed the Radio Star' again for the first time in a while, and it got me to thinking.

Has the music video really done irreparable harm to music as a whole? Without Much and MTV, I seriously doubt we'd be burdened with artists like Brittany 'Ooops, I'm pregnant again' Spears, and most of the other pop tartlets, plus pseudo bands like Good Charlotte. On the flip side, the music video is part of mass media, which on the whole I think has meant that there is more choice in this increasingly fragmented market space. Without mass media I don't honestly think that bands like the Dresden Dolls, Tragically Hip, BNL, Killers, White Stripes, The Cure, etc... would ever have had enough airplay to garner fans. But hey, what do I know. I'm just some asshole with a blog.

I don't listen to the radio, so it's easy for me to tune out the disposable music which is apparently so prevalent, but I'm loving being able to pick and choose certain songs, and discovering new artists all through the wonders of the Interweb.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wherein we propose a long term solution to the western world's problems

Firstly, let us do away with frivilous lawsuits.

Secondly, let us remove warning labels from all products.

Thirdly, let us make each person responsible and accountable for not only their own actions, but those of their offspring and kin.

It's time to thin out the herd folks.

Burn your crotch with hot coffee from a drive thru? Let us pray it impedes your ability to reproduce.

Drink a gallon of bleach? Bravo... encourage your friends to partake in same.

Break your neck imitating what you've seen on Jackass II? Refer to the bleach comment. Oh and you have to pay for your hospital stay. No healthcare for idiots.

Get caught doing 150 down a highway with 12 lane changes in less than 3 minutes with a blood alcohol level of .12? License revoked. Insurance revoked. Can't get to work now? TFB. Can't support yourself? TFB. Family wants nothing to do with you? Good for them. Oh, and TFB for you.

Kill some poor cabbie while street racing with your idiot friend? Congratulations! You and your pal are now responsible for supporting said cabbie's family for the remainder of their lives. Oh... and you lose your license, your car is impounded and given to the cabbie's family.

Molest children? Congratulations, you get a one way ticket to gen-pop with a scarlet P branded to your forehead. Hope you've got eyes in the back of your head.

It's past time to thin out the herd.

I'm all for helping people out who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own, through bad circumstances and so on. I'm 100% opposed to helping out people who have fallen on hard times through their own stupidity, ignorance, actions or inactions.

So... who would support me if I ran for office? =)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wherein we reveal small but significant aspects of our personality

Things that most (but not all) people know about me.

Four Jobs I've Had
Senior Hockey League Announcer
Stand-in Jesus
Assistant Editor
Fog Wrangler

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over Again
Shaun of the Dead
Blackhawk Down
Band of Brothers

Four Places I've Lived
New Brunswick
New Brunswick

Four TV Shows I Love
Early West Wing
Grey's Anatomy (but not with commercials)
Junkyard Wars

Four Places I've Vacationed
Uh... sadly, I haven't really vacationed anywhere. Florida I guess.

Four of My Favorite Dishes
Mashed Taters
A nice heavy garlic chicken fettucine

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
Dreamland (oh oh oh)
Filthy Rich

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wherein we rejoice at having found our theme song

Hurrah for Get Set Go and there brilliant little ditty I Hate Everyone.

Some stupid chick in the checkout line
Was paying for beer with nickels and dimes
And some old man who clipped coupons
Had argued whenever they wouldn't take one
All I wanted to was buy some cigarettes
But I couldn't take it anymore so I left

I hate everyone (4x)

All the people on the street, I hate you all
And the people that I meet, I hate you all
And the people that I know, I hate you all
And the people that I don't, I hate you all
Oh, I hate you all

Some fucking asshole just cut me off
And gave me the finger when I fucking honked
Then he proceeded to put on the brakes
He slammed on the brakes, but I made a mistake
When I climbed out of my van he was waiting
But he was six three and two hundred pounds of Satan

I hate everyone (4x)

All the people on the street, I hate you all
And the people that I meet, I hate you all
And the people that I know, I hate you all
And the people that I don't, I hate you all
Oh, I hate you all

I bet you think I'm kidding
But I promise you its true
I hate most everybody
But most of all I hate
Oh, I hate you

All the people on the street, I hate you all
And the people that I meet, I hate you all
And the people that I know, I hate you all
And the people that I don't, I hate you all
And the people in the east, I hate you all
And the people I hate least, I hate you all
And the people in the west, I hate you all
And the people I like best, I hate you all
Oh, I hate you all


And people say I'm mean; the above is proof I'm not. I hate everyone equally.

Wherein we wonder at the world

The world is slowly but surely descending into a seething pit of sweaty cluster-fuckery.

Two cases in point, if you will (and trust me, you have very little choice in the matter, so you might as well):

Exhibit A
I was waiting in line at a local purveyor of car fuel to buy some chocolate for Gal on my way home. I noticed that the line was a little longish at the checkout, but that's hardly anything new for me. That particular cross is for another post. Anyway, there is a short burly 50ish woman standing in front of me, doing the 'I'm impatient and important dance'.

Finally she can't take it anymore, having already had to wait the better part of a minute to pay for her gas.

Her: C'mon hurry up already!
Clerk: I'm sorry, the system is down right now. I'm trying to get it going.
Her: Damnit, I'm going to be late for work! Are you going to pay me for my lost time!
Clerk: There's nothing I can do... I'm waiting for it to come back up
Her: (more belligerent) Can't I just fucking give you my credit card number?
Clerk: (insanely polite tone) I'm sorry ma'am there's nothing I can do.
Her: Oh for fuck's sake!

Now, if I had had more than 10 hours of sleep in the previous 48, I would have kept my mouth shut. But...

Me: Look lady, he's doing his best. There's no reason to yell at him.

Then this five foot nothing trogledyte comes around on me with her arm cocked back. She was going to take a swing at me!

The expression of incredulity and irritation on my face must have given her pause, as she fairly quickly dropped her arm. It also might have had something to do with the look of shock on the people behind me in line. I was both pleased and dismayed that I'd gotten someone irritated enough to want to take a poke at me. I'm pretty sure I could have taken her, if I needed to. Sure she probably outweighed me by 30 pounds or more, but I have over a foot of reach on her, and I've been watching UFC a lot this year.

Exhibit B
I'm a bit of a super hero... well not really, but I do have some amazing powers. One I like to call my stupid sense; pretty self-explanatory. It's the ability to anticipate when someone is going to do something stupid that will potentially impact me.

I'm driving tonight, it's dark and rainy. I'm going about 40 kph down a main street, that has dozens of smaller residential streets intersecting with it. A few hundred feet away, I notice a genius running up said side street with a hood up, presumably to keep dry. He's booking it, and my Stupid Sense starts tingling.

Sure enough, he doesn't slow down as he approaches the street I'm on, so I tap my brakes. I lose sight of him as I get closer due to the stupid mini vans parked all along the street. Stupid Senses give a good twinge, and I apply the brake again, and a second later he darts out at full speed from between two vans.

I slam on the brakes and the horn, and stop short of him by about a foot. So naturally, he slams his hands on my hood, 'cause it's my fault he didn't just end up a smear on the ashphalt.

How inconsiderate of me.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wherein we while away the hours

Yes, I'm back.

No, I'm not less sarcastic, surly, angry or what have you.

But we'll give this little side-line a shot again, as a way to keep stalling on real writing. =)